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SXSW showcase reviews

Reviewed by Darcie Stevens, March 16, 2007, Music

The Besnard Lakes

Mohawk, Thursday, March 15

"These songs are for the people out there," frontman Jace Lacek joked to the lined-up throngs (three lines, people, c'mon!). "We're gonna smoke this place out." With that, the fog machine let loose a barrage of mood-inducing thickness as Lacek and wife/bassist Olga Goreas sighed "For Agent 13," from the Canadian sextet's sophomore LP. Tonight, the Besnard Lakes weren't The Dark Horse, and as people trickled in off of Red River, their set became a bombastic mindfuck, from whisper to throb in a heartbeat. Harmonizing like the studio traveled to Texas, the band blasted into the true stoner rock of "Devastation": no sludge or sloppiness, just wooze. Three guitars down with keys mimicking violin, Goreas oozed through Lacek's pitch-perfect falsetto. The only things missing were real strings, horns, and more chorus on that thundering bass. With vocal play rarely seen in the recent past and tremelo tricks oft-triggered from hair even bigger than Lacek's Canadian 'fro, the Besnard Lakes are bringing the fundamentals back to the stage: no fashion, no fuss, just growl.

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